Forming significant connections within the workplace is one of the biggest contributors to high employee contribution and retention. The best employers recognize that loyalty doesn’t solely exist to the company but at a much deeper level between their co-workers. All employees have moments when they examine their professional situation. In the recruiting industry, we speak to individuals who are considering leaving an organization on a daily basis. The best managers recognize that the quality and depth of relationships is a critical component of employee loyalty.

One reason deep friendships are so essential in the workplace is that a necessary element in a friendship is trust. The development of trusting relationships is a significant emotional component for employees in today’s workplace. When strong engagement is felt in a workgroup, employees believe their colleagues will help them during times of stress and challenge. Employees with close friendships within the workplace experience significantly higher levels of healthy stress management, even though they experience the same levels of stress. In this day of rapid-fire change, technological advancements, and innovation, having an “inner circle” at work may be the answer to effect change within the workplace.

5 Types of Friends in the Office

Look at your friend group at the office.  In Tom Rath’s Vital Friends, his extensive research outlines the types of individuals you must have in your life to elevate your professional game. Which of these friends do you have in the office?

  • Builders motivate you, invest in your development, and genuinely want you to succeed. These friends help you see your strengths and advise you on how best to use them. They are generous with their time and encourage you to accomplish more. They’ll never compete with you and will always be standing at the finish line to cheer for you!
  • Mind Openers stretch your viewpoint and introduce you to new ideas, opportunities, and people. These friends help you expand your vision and create positive change in your life. These are the people who challenge conventional wisdom and allow you to express opinions you might hesitate to articulate around others.
  • Navigators give advice and direction. You seek them out when you need leadership and counsel. These friends are phenomenal at talking through your options with you. Navigators are best at understanding your goals and then helping you find the path to achieve them.
  • Connectors are the bridge builders who help you get what you want. They work to connect you with others who will share your interests or goals. They extend your network exponentially and give you access to new resources.
  • Collaborators have similar interests to you. These people share your passion for sports, hobbies, work, politics, food, movies, music, or books. These friendships usually turn into life-long friends outside the workplace.

How Leaders Help Build an Inner Circle

Gallup found that managers are the ones primarily responsible for the engagement level of their employees. Friendships are about more than simply having “fun” as camaraderie can be built around a common sense of purpose, meaningful goals, and powerful day-to-day experiences. For example, studies have proven that soldiers form resilient bonds during missions in part because they believe in the purpose of the mission, rely on each other, and share the good and the bad as a team. Consider ways to increase engagement at weekly meetings, in action-planning sessions, and holding one-on-one meetings with employees to make it part of your workplace’s DNA.

The camaraderie at work can create an increased sense of morale which includes mutual respect, a sense of identity, and admiration to push towards goals and positive outcomes. Certainly, the coordination of group events such as charitable initiatives, wellness competitions, and community service events can help build a sense of togetherness. At the same time, forming vital friendships with co-workers is just as important. Be acutely aware of the need employees have for strong bonds in each of the areas described by Rath. Helping your employees build an “inner circle” in the workplace will increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention in the long run.

About Us

With over 90 years of Logistics experience, Top Talent is a recognized leader in Talent Acquisition for Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain., Let us put our team to work for you. To learn more about successful strategies for getting those impact players and game-changers on your team, reach out to us today.

– Michael Monson
Top Talent LLC
President and CEO